Niagara’s Latest COVID-19 Workforce Stats Paint a Picture that is Pretty Damn Grim

Region’s Accommodation and Food Services, Tourism Sector Hit Especially Hard, Local Agricultural Sector Beginning to feel the Economic Squeeze

From Updates released by the Niagara Workforce Planning Board, a not-for-profit body serving Niagara’s regional government and local municipalities

Posted by Doug Draper, April 21, 2020 on Niagara At Large

The Covid-19 outbreak has caused most things to do with the economy, globally and here in the Niagara area, to take a nose dive, with no recovery expected overnight.,

“The COVID-19 pandemic is creating economic and employment disruption in ways that are not familiar to the vast majority of us in Niagara,” reads a statement the Niagara Workforce Planning Board (NWPB) circulated this April 20th with its latest workforce data for the Niagara region.

“As we move forward in these uncertain times,” the statement continues, “NWPB staff is collecting economic and employment information, aggregating facts and figures, and sharing them with our partners in the community.”

NWPB remains committed to offering our economic and employment insight at this challenging time.”

The NWPB then proceeds to provide links to a series of briefing notes it has put together on various business sectors in the region and on the state of the job situation in Niagara in the weeks following the COVID-19 outbreak and what we hope will be just a temporary shutdown of many business and business-related operations.

Suffice to say, the picture most of the data in these briefing notes paint is not good.

Here are a few excerpts from the briefing notes –

On Niagara’s tourism sector; “The tourism sector is already facing significant hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic. The March update to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey reported 3,000 fewer Niagara residents employed in the accommodation and food services industry. This represents an 11.5% decrease in total employment within this industry million.in a single month. This figure is expected to increase in the coming months.”

On Niagara’s accommodation and food services; “Local employers in accommodation and food services reported the largest forecast revenue loss due to COVID-19 of any local industry sector. Specifically, accommodation and food services employers noted that over three months they expected to lose $171.6 million in revenues[1]. If current conditions continue for six months, they anticipate a revenue loss of $342.”

On Niagara’s Agricultural Sector; Local agriculture has already begun to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Business closures amid physical distancing practices have had an adverse impact on local floriculture. While the federal government is working to ensure that the flow of international guest workers to Niagara can occur despite quarantine protocols, the pandemic has produced a bottleneck in securing the necessary labour to support crop production.”

“A recent survey delivered by the Niagara Economic Rapid Response Team reports on the impact of COVID-19 on local employers. When agricultural employers were asked if the COVID-19 pandemic had affected their operations, 86.8% of those who responded to the question reported some impact from the virus. Approximately 78.9% of responding employers stated that they had already lost revenue because of the virus.”

On the current state of employment and job opportunities hiring in Niagara; “The COVID-19 pandemic is creating economic and employment disruption in ways that are not familiar to the vast majority of us in Niagara. As we move forward in these uncertain times, NWPB staff is collecting economic and employment information, aggregating facts and figures, and sharing them with our partners in the community.”

“NWPB remains committed to offering our economic and employment insight at this challenging time.”

Some of the hiring opportunities that now exist in Niagara, according to the NWPB data, include retail sales persons, registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses, customer and information service representatives, home support workers and house keepers.

Here is a link that you can click on to review the NWPB’s latest workforce data and briefing notes in full – https://www.niagaraworkforce.ca/site/blog/category/covid-19

About Niagara Workforce Planning Board – The Niagara Workforce Planning Board (NWPB) is one of 26 regional planning boards in Ontario making up the Local Boards Network, partly funded through Employment Ontario.

Founded on October 27, 1997 as the Niagara Training and Adjustment Board (NTAB), NWPB is a not-for-profit, non-government organization serving the Niagara region and its municipalities in providing research, data, and analysis on labour market, economic, and broad demographic trends. Our work is primarily focused on the support and promotion of local labour market planning and workforce development.

For more on the Niagara Workforce Planning Board and the valuable  information it has to offer, click on – https://www.niagaraworkforce.ca/site/home

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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